|The Method in Hindu Yoga
The Hindus have
analyzed the process of mental approach to Reality, and the part the mind should play,
more clearly, perhaps, than any other group of thinkers. Shankaracharya tells us that:
"The Yogi, whose intellect is perfect, contemplates all things as dwelling within
himself (in his own 'Self,' without  out any distinction of outer and inner), and
thus, by the eye of Knowledge (Jnana-chaksus, an expression which might be rendered fairly
accurately as 'intellectual intuition'), he perceives (or rather conceives, not rationally
or discursively, but by a direct awareness and an immediate 'assent') that everything is
- Quoted by Guénon, René, in Man and His Becoming, page 254
The Yogi, or the one who has achieved union (for Yoga is the science of union) knows
himself as he is in reality. He finds, when ignorance gives place to transcendental
awareness, that he is identified with Brahma, the Eternal Cause, the One and the Alone. He
knows himself to be, past all controversy, God - God immanent and God transcendent. The
seer goes on to tell us that
"He is 'the Supreme Brahma, which is eternal, pure, free, alone (in Its
absolute perfection), incessantly filled with Beatitude, without duality, (unconditioned)
Principle of all existence, knowing (without this Knowledge implying any distinction of
subject and object, which would be contrary to 'non-duality'), and without end' ".
"He is Brahma, by which all things are illumined (partaking of Its essence
according to their degrees of reality), the Light of which causes the sun to shine and all
luminous bodies, but which is not made manifest by their light."
"The 'Self' being enlightened by meditation...,then burning with the fire of
Knowledge (realizing its essential identity with the Supreme Light), is delivered from all
accidents, ...and shines in its own splendor like gold which is purified in fire."
"When the Sun of spiritual Knowledge arises in the heart's heaven (that is to say
at the center of the being...), it dispels the darkness (of ignorance veiling the 
single absolute Reality), it pervades all, envelops all, and illumines all."
- Guénon, René, Man and His Becoming, pages 956, 258, 259, 260.
Father Maréchal tells us that the
"...psychological experience lived by the contemplative passes through the two
phases of mental concentration and unconsciousness described by M. Oltramare, according to
the Sarva-darsana-sangraha: 'It is in two successive phases that the Yogi saps by
anticipation the basis of further existences and effaces the impressions that determine
the present existence. In the first it is conscious...; thought, then, is
exclusively attentive to its proper object, and all the modifications of the thinking
principle are suspended in the degree that they depend on exterior things; the fruits it
gains under this form are either visible - the cessation of suffering - or invisible -
immediate perception of Being which is the object of the meditation...The second period of
Yoga is that in which it is unconscious...the thinking organ is resolved
into its cause...the feeling of personality is lost; the subject who is meditating, the
object on which his thought dwells, the act of meditation itself, make but one
- Maréchal, Joseph, S. J., Studies in the Psychology of the Mystics, pages
Patanjali, the greatest teacher of the science of Yoga in the world, has summed up the
final stages in his fourth Book in the following words:
"The state of isolated unity (withdrawn into the true nature of the Self) is the
reward of the man who can discriminate between the mind stuff and the Self, or spiritual
state of isolated unity becomes possible when the three qualities of matter (the three
gunas or potencies of  nature) no longer exercise any hold over the Self. The pure
spiritual consciousness withdraws into the One."
the spiritual intelligence which stands alone and freed from objects, reflects itself in
the mind stuff, then comes awareness of the Self...The mind then tends
- Bailey, Alice, The Light of the Soul, IV, 25, 34, 22.
the same idea. The use of the mind, final withdrawal from the mind consciousness, and the
realization of unity. This tends to steady illumination.